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Showing posts from 2017

Gmail Tips: The B Side

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Happy Friday!

This week's Tech Tip is brief but I wanted to add in a few other things about Gmail and making it work best for you

Use the Search Feature in Gmail - The top box is a search feature just like a Google search. You can search emails that you sent by typing to:  and the subject. You can search messages from specific users by typing in from: and then their user name or to: and then putting messages that you have sent to others

Set a Vacation Response -  By going to Settings you can automatically set a response if you are out of the office.



And finally - There is a great free program Called Boomerang for Gmail - Now you can schedule when you want Emails to send out. Have an important email but don't want to send it out till next Friday? Then Boomerang can schedule and send that out for you.

Have a great weekend and a great holiday break.

Take Care,
Clint











Then 10 best things about Gmail.

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Happy Friday,

One of the reasons that I love December is the best of lists that come out.  I'm a big music guy so I always enjoy reading critics choice of the best albums of  2017. (Which,I guess I'm not cool anymore or I'm old because I didn't listen to any of them but I am trying out some of them now.)  Also, I love watching sports so I enjoy reliving the best plays of 2017.  I don't watch a ton of Television but when I do I make sure that it is something I will enjoy by checking out, you guessed it, the best TV shows of 2017.

So, with our big switch to Gmail on Monday I wanted to share with you the Clint Winter 10 best features of Gmail. 
10. Customize the appearance of Gmail - Everyone's Gmail can look different!  You can choose a theme or upload your own pictures. You can now read your email while looking at a serene lake. It makes it that more peaceful. 
9.  Archive your mail -  Gmail is Unlimited you can save all of your email if you would like.  Instead …

Professional Learning Network and Hour of Code

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Happy Friday!

A few weeks ago I asked the question, how do you learn?  For me, I learn from other professionals everyday through Social Media. What works best for me is Twitter. Others love using Pintrest, or Instagram, or Facebook. There are educators and scholars who use all types of Social Media to learn Professionally.

If you decide to create a social media account I highly encourage you to create a "Professional" account that you use for Professional learning. The tool that I use the most is Twitter.  This would be seperate from a personal account that you may already have.
Twitter is a great way to communicate with teachers from across the state and world.  Often there are real time education twitter chats that happen at a certain time during the week. For instance, a popular one here in Georgia is the #TechtalkGA twitter chat on Monday nights.  There is also a #SATCHAT #ELACHAT, and others. HERE is a link to all types of educational Twitter Chats and when they happen.…

Google Chrome Extensions and Swivl

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Happy Friday everyone!

Last week Bruce Stuart and I were fortunate to be able to attend the GAETC Conference. This is a time where Tech Leaders  from across the state are able to come and learn about new technologies, and programs. I came across some tools that I thought would be beneficial to you.

I learned a good bit about Google Chrome Extensions.  Extensions are like apps in the Google Chrome browser. As a tech department, we often push out extensions for testing, security, etc. . . You and your students can also go to the chrome store and browse extensions and install them yourself. Once installed they are there until you take them off.  I would like to showcase a couple of extensions that we have pushed out and and then a couple that you may want to check out and see if it is something that you want to use. If your students are using chromebooks then the district ones below will automatically show up. For you, on your teacher laptop, you just have to login to your chrome browser…

How Do You Learn?

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A week or two ago I was having a conversation with a colleague of mine who also has a career with instructional technology. We were talking about how learning is different now than when we were in school.  As a teacher I bet you learn differently as well.
   For example, a real world  random question that someone asked me last night  "Hey Clint, who was the drummer of the Allman Brothers Band?” Let's break this down. If it was a mere 25 years ago and I was asked that I would have to remember the question, go find an Allman brothers CD or tape, open up the linear notes and find the answer. Or, I would go to the library and find an old copy of a Rolling Stones, or get on the microfish to find an article. I would then write down the answer or commit it to memory.  Thankfully I didn't have to do that.  I did what most of us do when we don't know the answer to a question. I got out my phone and searched "Drummer Allman Brothers Band"I quickly read a wikipedia ar…

Using YOUTUBE in the Classroom

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Happy Friday and almost Happy Halloween!

As part of having a  ECSD Google Account you also have access to creating your own YouTube Channel. If you go to YouTube.com and click sign in and sign in with your ECSD account you can create a channel.  (Click on the picture below to see this)


Why would you do this?  One of the many  benefits is that you can create your own playlists. For example, now that conferences are over I may have shared a few youtube video tutorials with my students' parents to help them with their math practice at home. Now, I can say, "Check out my Youtube Channel of categorized playlists.Example,  Here is the Unit 2 playlist you can go back and reference"  It's all in one place and you can add and edit.  Also, a benefit of having things on YouTube is that you can get YouTube on just about anything.  Smartphones, Televisions, gaming systems. etc. . . Also, if you have access to devices, you could pair it with a service like Edpuzzle and have studen…

Google Maps

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Over the Fall break I took my family on a Fall Camping Trip in the middle of nowhere Western North Carolina.  Ok, it was just outside of Robbinsville, NC. This was the first time that we have ever visited this part of NC.  But, the crazy thing is, I didn't pack a map.  To be honest, I can't think of the last time I used a paper map. I, like many, plugged my phone in and followed the Waze app till we got to our destination. I knew exactly how long it would take us, the cheapest gas on the route, and if there was road construction ahead. Knowing directions and locations is still very important but I did not have to memorize anything. I could think more about the why of my journey and not the what. (For the record, always be aware of your surroundings)
   So, that made me think about a service that both us and our students have access to. Google MyMaps.  With Google MyMaps, students and teachers can create their own maps. Students and teacher  have the availability Drop pins, an…

Giving Your Students Voice in the Classroom

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Happy Friday!
This is a little longer post since we will be out next Friday. I'm going to make an effort next weekend to "unplug" As passionate as I am about using technology with our students I really think it is important to  make time to unplug from being in front of screens.
   One of my favorite tool for all students in grades K-12  is FlipGrid.  FlipGrid is a  free tool where students can  create video response. Teachers will need to sign up for a free account. Students will not have to ever to sign up.  I think this is a valuable tool because students are creating something with technology and sharing their voice.  All of these video comments are placed in a Grid and students can view each others comments.
   So, for example, let's say that our students have recently finished a math problem or have just read a book.  Students can go the flipgrid link and leave a video response talking about HOW they solved the problem or WHY they agreed or disagreed with the b…

Getting going with Equatio

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Happy Friday!
Have you ever had this experience in your classroom? Nothing like a collective "Aw, Man!" as you start erasing the board to make more room.  We now have a subscription for a program called equatio.  This program  is forced installed on the Chromebooks and for students with windows devices they will need to sign into the Chrome browser.  To do this they will open up the chrome browser and click the 3 dots and sign in with their Elbert account. For students at the Elementary and Primary school  without an Elbert Account the teacher can sign in with their account or with the generic that I will soon send out to those teachers.

Equatio is a great tool for science and math and STEM related activities.   With this program Students can speak problems and equations into their device,  they can draw, (either with their mouse or using the touchscreen) and this will appear in a Google Doc. Teachers can also insert math equations into google forms.
   As of Tuesday, there …

New software from Texthelp

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Happy Friday!

I'm very excited to let you all know that we have new software on our devices!  We have two  new products that both students and teachers  will be to access with our new subscription to texthelp.   Read and Write for Google and Equatio. I'm excited about this software because it is going to help remove barriers for our students and help many of them to better  access digital Curriculum. These programs offer our students the ability to hear digital  text read aloud, easily find word meanings and word pictures, word prediction on docs, and easily create vocabulary charts.  With Equatio students can  insert equations, complete math problems on a touch screen (on our touch screen devices) and speak their math into a device.
    I think that Michael Scott, a personal hero of mine, summarized what I felt like when I first learned about these programs.



There are 2 ways that both students and teachers can access the software


Chromebooks - Sign in with your Elbert County G…

Google Docs Part 3 AND a few extra resources.

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Happy Friday  This is my last installment in the Google Docs Trilogy. Number 3. Also, the jersey number of my all time favorite Baseball Player.

Before I begin the last installment  about Google Docs lets review what we have covered so far in regards to Google Docs. If you would like to review you can read the previous blog posts on Thefridaytechtip.com or check out bit.ly/ecsdit.  So far we've covered

Creating Google DocumentsSharing Google Documents for collaborationProviding Feedback and comments in Google DoccumentsViewing Revision HistorySpeech to TextThe Explore Feature and Citation generator.
So the last feature about Google Docs. Google Doc  have "Add Ons"  Think of Add ons as apps on a smart phone.  They are extra things that you and your students can CHOOSE to have or not have. They are just extras. To get to Add ons open or create a Google Doc and click on Add ons

These are extra programs that run straight from Google Docs. For instance, There is an add on name…

Google Docs Part 2

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Happy Friday,

I''m going out on a limb this week. I'm not going to lie. I am not a big fan of sequels. Don't get me wrong there are some great sequals out there. In my opinion two of the greatest movies ever made are  Godfather II, and  Empire Strikes Back.  Also, one of my personal  favorites,  Under Siege 2 Dark Territory is possibly the most far fetched movie of all time.  Just FYI, it's about Steven Seagal, he's a cook, on a train, saving the world from a group of thugs who hacks into the CIA database to command a nuclear satellite  (on a train in 1995 with a dial up modem to blow up the East Coast.) . But for every Empire Strikes Back there is about five  2 fast 2 Furious, or Taken  2. So hopefully this is more of  an Empire Strikes Back post then say Speed 2 Cruise Control.

This week I'm going to be following up with last week's blog post about Google Docs.  One of the benefits of Google Docs is that it is Collaborative. This week I was fortunate e…

Google Docs

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Happy Friday!
This blog post is about using Google Docs.  Just a couple of instructions before we get going. There are a couple of Gif images that demonstrate a few things. Click on them and they will become larger. Also, when you see text in blue click on that to take you to an article.

One of our Core tools within Google Apps for Education is Google Docs.  In simple terms, Google Docs is the Google tool for a Word Processor. Just like Microsoft Word is the Word Processor for Microsoft.  Google Docs has all of the same basic features as Microsoft Word. For instance, you can Bold and Italicize words. You are still able to change fonts, insert bullets. . . Etc.
    To get to Google Docs just go to drive.google.com and choose create and create a new document. One thing that people often forget, myself included, is to name their Document. All documents start off being titled Untitled Document.


   One of the big differences is the addition of  Collaboration. You may have heard that someone…

Using Google Drive

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Happy Friday!   One of the great things about Google Drive is that you can save anything to Drive.  Our Drive storage for both teachers and students is UNLIMITED. Also, you can access your files from anywhere.  Google Drive is cloud based meaning that your documents, files, are uploaded to a server and not your individual computer. So if your computer dies you can still access your files.   There is also a Google Drive  app  in both the Itunes and Android Store where you can access documents on a mobile device.        Anytime you create a new Google Document, Drawing,Form, Sheet, or slide  it automatically saves to your Google Drive. It will live there forever unless you decide to delete it. If someone shares a document with you then it will automatically  go into your "shared with me" tab.
Also, if you click on "Recent" you will see your most recent documents. For me, I use this feature the most.     You can Organize your Drive however you like! If you are a fold…

Digital Formative Assessments

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Happy Friday!

As we get used to the Google Apps for Education Suite I hope that we can all learn from Audi.  If you have 3 minutes  to spare I encourage you and your students to watch this.  I hope that we all can be excited about learning from our failures as Audri is


I'm very proud of our teachers and students here in Elbert County School District as they are diving into the Google Suite of Education Apps.  This week alone our Primary school teachers began joining and posting in Google+ communities for collaborative planning, our Middle School Teachers learned about the Instructional Technology Site and our  High School students and teachers are utilizing  Google Classroom.  Although this is new territory  and we will experience some growing pains we are going to make it!


One of the the things that I have found that Google Suite does and does well is make it easy for teachers to quickly assess their students.  One of the most powerful ways that this can happen is through the use…

Resources and Updates for Google Classroom

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We made it!  The first full week of school here in the Elbert County School District is in the books.  Our freshman and sophomores and a few seniors were the first to be issued their own Chromebook.  Chromebooks are a little different than a Windows PC.  Chromebooks are faster to load, sync with "The Cloud" and are work best when paired with a Gsuite for Education Account.  Our students also have  an @student.elbert.k12.ga.us account to access their Gsuite Account. This means that they have unlimited storage, have a secure account, and can access their account from any device.
    One of the things that has been rolled out this week as well for both our High School students and teachers has been the use of Google Classroom.   Recently, (Like in the last 2 weeks) there has been lots of resources built into classroom.


Google has just released  #firstdayofclassroom  training material and guides!  This is a great one stop shop for you to learn and see about every aspect of Googl…

The Last Friday Tech Tip of the year

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Happy Friday and Happy last Friday of the school year!  I hope that you have a great summer. I've really enjoyed being able to support your school this year.   A few things as we  begin post planning


If you are leaving the District and want to take your files with you you can transfer them with Google Takeout.  You simply choose your drive and then you can either download the files or transfer them to your personal Gmail account


Remember to Archive your Google Classroom. To do this go to your Google Classroom dashboard and click the 3 dots in the corner then choose archive. You will still have access to these classes and can reuse the posts but they will come off of your dashboard and will also come off the dashboard for your students. 







Finally, if you would like to keep up to date with educational technology over the summer I would recommend that you start your own PLN (Professional Learning Network)  This could be  twitter chats, Google+ communities, or following boards on Pinteres…

Speak to Go with Google

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Happy Friday,

As we wind down the school year it might be fun to take your class on an expedition.  Students can do this with speaktogo.withgoogle.com.  With this service students speak in  with their voice where they want to go and then they are automatically transported to that location. This is a program for the Google Cardboard Virtual Reality device but it works just as well with a  laptop.   See the video below for an example of using Speaktogo.  Please let me know if you have questions

Take Care,
Clint


Spring Resources: Explore.org and Booktrack Classroom

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Happy Friday!

This Friday I have three resources that you may find beneficial as we wind down the school year

Explore.org is a site where you and your students can view live animal web cameras from all over the world.  Students can watch birds, whales, buffalos, etc. . .  in their natural habitat.  This could be a great Starter or writing prompt.





One of my other favorite resources that I have explored lately is Booktrack Classroom. With Booktrack classroom students can create and insert ambient sound, music, and other sound effects into their writings.  This does require that students create an account (Sorry Elementary and some Middle school teachers you have to be at least 13 to create an account ). You can set the reading speed of your audience to have the sound effects align with your reading. Below is a video tutorial of how to use this.



Let me know if you have any questions

Take Care,
Clint

Free Open Resources

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Happy Friday,

On Wednesday I was able to listen and learn about the US Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology  #GoOpen movement. In short, this is a movement to provide free open source materials for students and teachers.  A couple of the resources that I thought would be very useful are the OER Commons (OER stands for Open Educational Resources) website and  Smithsonian Education. OER commons has K-12 Digital resources that can be searched by, Grade, Subject Area, and Standard.  Also, there is an option to push out Digital  resources using the Google Classroom button. Teachers will have to sign up for a free account. Students do not have to sign up.

Smithsonian Education has over 2,000 Digital Resources that can be shared with students. These could be primary sources, videos, articles, and more that are currated by the Smithsonian Institute.
     Also, with both of these sites, there are using ratings. You can browse the resources from highest to lowest ratings…

Exciting Updates

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Happy Friday!

Text Help (The People behind Read and Write for Google ) launched Equation IO extension this week. With Equation IO it will be much easier for students and teachers to create digital  math equations in Google Docs.  Students can  draw, use speech to text, and equation editors to craft math problems. I was able to try it out today and I think that this is going to be  a great benefit for students in the math class. Students will need to go the chrome store (or click on the link above) and add the extension. You can find more directions HERE.

Another update that has recently rolled out is that we are now able to put videos into Google Slides straight from Google Drive! In the past we could only insert videos from YouTube. If your students are creating their own documentaries or videos they can upload the video to drive and then insert it into their presentation.

If you have any questions about these new features please let me know.

I hope you have a g…